Exhibitor Service Center

Toggle between the tabs below for information pertaining to registered 2013 Winter exhibitors.

Exhibitor Guides & Show Contacts

1st Time Exhibitor's Guide

Some unique things about the Show...

    • You can receive free electricity for the Lead Retrieval (CompuLEAD Machine) if you order by the deadline date. (Specialty Food Association Members Only) (Cost savings of $150).

    • You can have the first 200 pounds of your freight delivered to your booth at no cost if you drive it there yourself.  Review the Exhibitor-Driven Vehicle (EDV) Program for further information.

    • There is a complimentary exhibitor hot dog lunch at noon on Saturday during move-in (the day before the show opens).  Look for the signs that lead you to free food and drinks!

    • The height limit for all booths (besides peninsula & island booths) is 8’.  Peninsula & Island booths can build up to 12’ high.

    • You need to be 18 or older to have access to the show floor.

    • There are designated “Exhibitor Clean Up Stations” on the show floor to wash your equipment.

    • Please leave your shopping bags at home. Attendees may only use the official show literature bags provided by the Association.

    • We have staff members called “Floor Managers” that are dedicated to your area on the show floor.  Stop by and see them for ANYTHING you need help with.

  • Stop by the Exhibitor Lounge to check your email (wireless internet access available), charge your laptop or cell phone or to hold a small meeting.

For more tips for First Time Exhibitors from the show contractor, Freeman, click here.

What does the complimentary booth package look like?

Can you give me an idea of what the Show looks like?

Quick Start for All Exhibitors

You want to make sure you leave no stone unturned in your preparation for the Show. Be sure you pay special attention to the early-bird discount deadlines— you’ll save yourself money by taking advantage of these discounted rates.

Getting your products to the Show

Drive it in yourself, ship it to the Freeman warehouse or ship it directly to the show? Each way has its advantages. To learn more about shipping options, click here.

How to set up your booth

Can you set up your booth by yourself or will you need a professional? Before you make the decision to do it yourself, check out the regulations concerning what you can and cannot do on your own under Shipping, Labor & Material Handling located in the Shipping & Freight section. – click here.

Programs to help you get the most out of a Show

Take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities to increase your brand awareness, network with peers, increase sales and educate yourself. The Specialty Food Association provides a number of value-added programs—some at no cost and others for very reasonable prices.Check out our Marketing Opportunities for further information.

Important Tips and Reminders

  • MEMBER BENEFIT - 10x10 booths will receive 100 lbs of drayage (Learn More on the Shipping & Freight Services Tab)
  • If you decide to ship your products/display to the Show, please keep in mind that “material handling” charges will apply. In each convention center, the material handling cost covers the labor and equipment to move your freight to and from the loading docks to your booth as well as the storage of your empty crates & boxes. The rate is based on weight and measured by 100 pound increments.
  • If your booth display has built-in lighting, you can minimize on-site labor charges by doing as many of the electrical wiring connections as possible before leaving for the Show.
  • Consolidate smaller boxes into one large crate or carton. This may not only save you money in material handling charges, but will also reduce the risk of lost freight.
  • For security purposes, when packing your materials, never list the contents on the outside of the crate/box/carton. It is recommended that you number each box and keep a separate list of the contents for each box. Be sure to have these lists with you when you arrive at the Show.
  • Make sure your travel plans at the end of the Show give you enough time to receive your empties and pack up your booth.
  • The temperature inside the exhibit hall during move-in could be very cold or hot depending on outside weather conditions. As much as we try to control the temperature, with the freight area open, it becomes a difficult task. Please check the weather conditions prior to your arrival and pack appropriately. During show days and hours, the temperature will be kept at a comfortable level.
  • Booth cleaning is provided the night before the Show opens compliments of the Specialty Food Association. If you need your wastebaskets emptied during the Show and you don’t want to do it yourself, you can order “Porter Service” through the Freeman.
  • Notify Freeman onsite if your outbound shipment will weigh less than your inbound shipment. You are charged for a round-trip based on the weight that came in to the show. If you are shipping out less, your total cost will go down.
  • Avoid overtime labor charges by having your booth set up between the hours of 8am & 4:30pm on Thursday or Friday of move-in.
  • Order you desktop lead retrieval machine by the deadline & receive free electric for that machine compliments of the Association.
  • Specialty Food Association Members can receive a complimentary booth package if it is ordered by the deadline.
  • If you are driving your things to the show and it weighs 500 pounds or less, utilize our Exhibitor-Driven Vehicle Program (EDV) and the first 200 pound will be unloaded and delivered to your booth for free compliments of the Association. NOTE: Cannot be combined with Drayage Program.

For more tips for Exhibitors from the show contractor, Freeman, click on the appropriate link below:

Other Important Considerations

Create a strategy for the Show and set realistic goals and objectives.

Points to consider:

  • ROI
  • Sales leads
  • Branding and awareness
  • Media and press interaction
  • Attendee education of your products
  • Pre-Show promotion

Invite your best customers.

Set a schedule for staffing your booth—and include dress-code considerations.

Think about the layout and
design of your booth:

  • Is it inviting?
  • Are you showcasing your products the right way?
  • What is the focal point of the booth?
  • Are you capturing the customer’s attention?
  • What is the message and feel your booth conveys?
  • Are you leaving a lasting impression?
Greening Your Participation

The Specialty Food Association is committed to reducing the environmental impacts of the Fancy Food Show and nurturing our event host communities. For our efforts, we are proud to have received Trade Show Executive Magazine’s 2013 Gold 100 Grand Awards first place award for Show with the Most Commendable Green Initiatives. For additional details, read our Press release about our efforts and an article from Tradeshow Executive.

The show floor is the main course of the Fancy Food Show!  As exhibitors, you are our most influential “greening” partners.

5 ways you can help make a positive impact:

1.    Participate in the Exhibitor Food Donation Program

  • Charity Food Donation form (click to download) Also available from Floor Managers at show. Return it to a show floor manager onsite.

2.    Recycle:

  • Recycle all product packaging in labeled bins throughout the expo hall and Clean Up Stations
  • Recycle Badge in proper bins
  • Food Disposal in proper bins within Clean-Up Stations

3.    Use compostable sampling serviceware (ASTM D6400 certified compostable)

  • Serving & Sampling suppliers with compostable, eco-friendly service-ware: Exhibitors are encouraged to use compostable serviceware onsite and should look for products that are American Standards for Testing Materials (ASTM) D6400 compliant. The Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the use of compostable materials and has a third party certification process to verify if a manufacturer's products meet the ASTM definition for compostability. Compostable product providers include:
  • San Francisco and New York City have banned or proposed legislation to ban the use of expanded polystyrene (“StyrofoamTM”) in food service establishments.

4.    Contractors / Smartly design your booth:

  • Ask contractors if they offer green design options for booth materials
  • Turn off all lights during set up and after hours
  • Download our Exhibitor Green Practices Checklist for details

5.    Show Bags / Reduce printed collateral

  • Reminder: Distribution of bags by exhibitors is prohibited
  • Only official Fancy Food Show bags will be permitted to leave the expo hall

Click to access our Exhibitor Green Practices Checklist

Security Tips

Basic Security Measures Provided:

  • Overnight storage rooms are provided free of charge for exhibitors to store valuables. To prevent theft or damage, please do not leave anything of great value in your booth overnight or during move-in and move-out.
  • Uniformed guards will be stationed at entrances, exits and along the perimeter of each Exhibit Hall. This service will be provided 24 hours a day from the first move-in day to the last move-out day.
  • Private guards for your booth may be hired from the official security contractor.
  • Security cages may be rented from Freeman.

Guidelines for Protecting Your Products & Display:

The Specialty Food Association cannot assume responsibility for loss, damage or theft at the show.  Each exhibitor must be responsible for his/her own property. Adherence to the following recommendations and precautions plus the vigilance of the personnel in your booth, should ensure adequate security for your exhibit materials and personal property.

  • Make sure your insurance coverage is adequate to protect your exhibit and product against damage or loss from the time it leaves your premises until it returns.
  • When preparing exhibit material for shipment, avoid cartons that identify contents. Use plain shipping containers and coded labels.
  • Assign people to be present at your booth when your exhibit material arrives to receive the shipment and take inventory. Report immediately to your Floor Manager any discrepancies between quantities shipped and quantities received.
  • Move-In & Move-Out is a highly vulnerable period, so pay special attention to items easily pilfered during this time. Place them in locked containers when you can’t keep an eye on them.
  • As an added security precaution for overnight, tape-off the perimeter or drape your booth.
  • Do not put articles of any value in a container marked “EMPTY STORAGE.”
  • Exhibitor’s must wear official show badges at all times.
  • During show days, someone from your company should be in your booth one half hour prior to opening and one half hour after closing.
  • Immediately report to security or show management the presence of any unauthorized visitors on the exhibit floor.
  • Don’t leave personal items unguarded such as cellular phones, laptops, coats, wallets, handbags, briefcases, etc.
  • To remove merchandise from the exhibit floor, exhibitors must be wearing an official show badge that matches their photo ID. Please remember, people wearing exhibitor badges with your company name on it are serving as representatives of your company. Therefore, any actions taken by these people fall under your responsibility, so please choose wisely. We suggest taking badges back from temp staff at the end of the show.
  • Remember, and remind those staffing your booth, that while guard service is provided by the Association until the end of move-out, it remains your responsibility to take whatever precautions you deem necessary to protect your property. Do not leave your booth unsupervised until your items have been picked up for shipping.
  • Do not leave your sales leads unsecured in your Booth at any time. We recommend you take them with you at the end of each day.
SHOW CONTACTS: Specialty Food Association Staff
SHOW CONTACTS: Fancy Food Show Vendors

View a list of vendors that can support your show efforts. You can also find Order Forms for various vendors in the Order Form section.


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Exhibitor FAQs

1. What is included in my booth space?

Each 10’x10’ booth will be set with the following:

  • 8’ high black back drape
  • 3’ high black side drape

Specialty Food Association Members who order a complimentary booth package by the deadline (view deadlines) will receive:

  • (2) 6’ undraped tables (you can drape them yourself or rent drapes from Freeman)
  • (2) folding chairs
  • (1) wastebasket
  • 9’x 10’ black booth carpet
  • 7”x 44” two-line identification sign

*Note the show aisle carpet will be blue.

International companies - (over 600 sq. ft.)
The Specialty Food Association will provide complimentary carpet for your booth and in some cases aisle carpet (see below) to pavilions with a minimum of (6) 10x10 booths.

  • International Exhibitors will be permitted to place their own aisle carpet in front of their booths only if they occupy both sides of the aisle and have a minimum of (6) 10x10 booths.
  • International Exhibitors will not be permitted to carpet a major cross aisle.
2. Booth set-up: Can I do it myself or have someone else do it?

Before you make the decision to do it yourself, check out the regulations concerning what you can and cannot do on your own - outlined under Shipping, Labor & Material Handling located in the Shipping & Freight section. If you need a professional, either contact Freeman at 714-254-3410 or Roger Grant, Specialty Food Association at 646-878-0137.

3. Are there any exceptions to the booth height regulation?

There are No exceptions to this rule. Domestic and international exhibitors must adhere to their respective height restrictions as this is an association rule made by our Exhibiting Members.

4. How many product samples should I ship?

We suggest that you review the show's exhibitor list and call a fellow exhibitor who has a similar product and ask them based on their experience. Exhibitor List

5. What if I am past the deadline for...?

a. Complimentary Booth Package

If you are a first time Fancy Food Show exhibitor, then we will extend the deadline for you.  All other exhibitors are not eligible for the complimentary package, but can order & pay for the items through Freeman.

b. Show Services

All exhibitors will have to pay current pricing for Show Services if they miss the deadline for discounted rates.  This includes booth furnishings, electrical, cleaning, etc.

c. Directory listing?

If you have missed all deadlines to update your directory listing, the information for your listing will be pulled from the most recent Fancy Food Show at which you exhibited. Click here to see all deadlines for updating your listing for the upcoming Show. For exhibitors who have missed the first or second deadline, updates and corrections can be submitted to directory@specialtyfood.com to appear in the First Addendum (for exhibitors whose listings are in the Directory’s Main Listings) or the On-Site Addendum (for those in the First Addendum). Late submissions will be corrected in your online listing found at specialtyfood.com and fancyfoodshows.com.

d. Badges?

There is no official deadline for badges. You may register online as long as you have your username & password. If you do not know your username and password, contact us at membership@specialtyfood.com.

e. Lead retrieval?

All 1st time exhibitors will be extended the Early Bird deadline rate after the deadline. All other exhibitors will be charged according to the current pricing.

 f. Complimentary Electrical for Lead Retrieval

If you are a 1st time Fancy Food Show exhibitor, you will still receive the complimentary electric for Lead Retrieval if your order is submitted past the deadline.  All other exhibitors that submit their order past the deadline must pay the current rate for electrical service.
6. How many show badges do I receive with my booth?

For every 100sq. ft. of booth space your company will receive five (5) complimentary badges. 150 sq. ft. will receive seven (7) badges.

7. How much does it cost for additional badges?

Additional badges will cost $35 per person if you register before the deadline (view deadlines). After the deadline has passed, additional badges will be $60 per person.

8. Do I need insurance?

Yes, the Specialty Food Association requires Exhibitors to carry insurance that adequately covers the exhibitor and its property from theft, public liability, product liability, property damage, personal injury and other loss or liability that may be incurred at or in connection with the Show.  You should name the Specialty Food Association, Freeman Decorating Company and the Convention Center as additional insurers.

9. Will WIFI be available at the Show?

Yes, complimentary service will be offered throughout the building.

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2014 Booth Selection

Booth Selection or "Space Draw" as it is known, is the NASFT’s advance booth space selection process. This is when you can choose your booth space for next year’s show.  Your participation affords you significantly more options for your booth selection. See complete details here >>